TokTone Drums - by Dave’s Island Instruments

Over the years Dave’s Island Instruments have proven themselves to be innovators within the world of Handpan.  They were the first (that we knew of) to produce an “Electric Handpan”, and would later bring us the “Ohm Handpan” - a hybrid Handpan / steel tongue drum instrument.  And now, once again, the guys at Dave’s Island Instruments bring us something new, in the from of “TokTones Drums”.  

What are TokTones Drums?  That’s a good question.  In their introductory e-mail DII’s even seem unsure themselves, leading with the question: ‘Handpan, Steel Drum, or Tongue Drum - What is it?’.  And if they themselves aren’t sure, here at HPM, we certainly aren’t...


They look like Handpan shells that have had tone-field templates pressed outwards, to form drum-head like membranes.  But is using the correct-sized tone-field template for the geometry of the Handpan shell enough to create a loosely tuned note?  Or have they undergone rough tuning, but not fine-tuning?  Or a different form of tuning altogether? This is really just thinking aloud, but with DII’s stating that the TokTone Drums will cost considerably less than an actual Handpan, presumably there is considerably less work involved in their production.  And while not unpleasant, for our tastes, the sound is definitely lacking when compared to a bona-fide Handpan (though arguably just different). But if the price is right (unknown at time of posting) they could make for an interesting alternative to the Steel Tongue Drum as an entry-level instrument to the world of UFO-shaped singing-steel, or of course, be of interest to those in search of new sounds to experiment with...

TokTone drums combine elements of antique steel drums, handpan designs and scales, and interesting metallic overtones. They also have a hint of an Indonesian gamelan tone.’ - from Dave’s Island Instruments

PAN INC - Handpan South Africa

If you’ve heard of the Tzevaot brand of Handpan, then you’ve by-the-by heard of the instruments of PAN INC. - the South-Africa based manufacturers of Handpan, and Steel Pan.  Because while Tzevaot have been among the most well placed Handpan-brands within the market in recent years, it has been known for some time now that Tzevaot are not Handpan makers themselves, in the traditional sense, but are instead distributors, or facilitators, and the instruments that they distribute are, primarily, if not exclusively, produced by the PAN INC team.   With PAN INC stating via their Facebook page: ‘For orders outside of Africa, please visit our official stockists, Tzevaot'.  However, should you be based in South Africa, it appears that you can go straight to the source, and make your purchase directly from PAN INC themselves.

What does a PAN INC Handpan sound like?  Just take a listen to any Tzevaot video and you’ll have your answer.  And while there are no actual prices listed on their Facebook page, presumably you’ll be able to save yourself a little cash via this route - should you be Africa-based.

And to end this post we’ll leave you with a video from Italian composer, Gioli, who has been racking up millions of views over at Facebook with her recent videos featuring her PAN INC / Tzevaot Handpan…



For more information visit PAN INC over at Facebook HERE

GoPro Goes Handpan - Hands-Free Handpan Recording

While the GoPro brand of action cameras might be primarily focused on the sports market, showcasing downhill mountain bikers, snowboarders, and their ilk, the benefits of the GoPro’s convenient hands-free usage, and unique recording perspective, has not been lost on Handpan players also.  With an increasing number of Handpan videos recorded using the head-mounted camcorder system finding their way onto YouTube in recent times.  And particularly for travelling Handpan musicians, the GoPro’s ease of use, in terms of capturing decent quality footage on-the-fly, can lead to some truly memorable footage.  As can be found evident in the “travelling Handpan” recordings of the ZuMusic Project…



Forget trying to balance your smartphone on its arse-end in attempt to get a decent angle, or messing around with tripods and the like for those more professional, and simply strap a GoPro on, and you’re away.  And convenience aside, as mentioned above, there is something more personal about the perspective achieved utilising a camera like the GoPro.  A Handpan-view panorama.  A musical head-(or chest) mounted snapshot.  Whether recorded at home (particularly useful for the camera shy).  Or in India, Thailand, Australia, everywhere inbetween, and beyond…



Find GoPro for sale at Amazon: HERE.  Or Visit the ZuMusic Project over at YouTube: HERE for more travelling Handpan footage.

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